How government plans to 'level up' the regions can boost SMEs
By Charlie Britten
11 Jun 2020
It may be imagined by some that the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic would have a drastic effect on the government’s economic planning. After all, the UK had record employment levels before the lockdown, a situation that is likely to change rapidly as many sectors suffer badly through being unable to trade.
Of course, millions more jobs have been saved by the furlough scheme, but this will cost around £80 billion and with a range of other initiatives in place to try to protect business and kick-start recovery as lockdown eases.
All that raises big questions about government spending with so much new debt and the danger of much-reduced tax receipts caused by the recession.
Why the government still wants to level up
However, the government has consistently stated it remains committed to investing in the regions to ‘level up’ economic fortunes, increasing the opportunities for parts of the country that have performed poorly in recent years to do far better.
This was a feature of the Conservative manifesto and a recognition that many of the towns and cities that supported Brexit did so because they felt they had been ‘left behind’ by a new globalised economic model that ignored towns whose historic means of earning wealth - such as mining and heavy industry – had greatly diminished or were gone altogether.
Furthermore, a strong tactical reason for the Conservatives to maintain this policy is that this could help them keep seats they won in last year’s election in traditional Labour-voting (but also pro-Brexit) areas, by demonstrating that their votes were not just a way of securing the end of EU membership, but would also bring some tangible economic benefits.
These seats were not just in metropolitan areas such as the West Midlands and Greater Manchester, but also coastal towns that have seen better days, such as Grimsby and Workington.
Budget measures on the way
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget statement in March listed several initiatives, including a metro mayor for West Yorkshire, more funds for existing mayors, and a shifting of research and development funding away from the south-east. There will also be a shift of public sector jobs, echoing a similar policy pursued by the Labour government of 1997-2010.
More measures could be announced in the second Budget of 2020, which is due in the autumn. The fact that some of the struggling areas may have suffered more from the economic impact of the Coronavirus could lead to
The benefits SMEs can enjoy
This continued commitment to levelling up could be very good news for local SMEs in such areas. This could happen in two ways:
- Directly, through government investment in areas the SME may be concerned with, such as green technology or transport
- Indirectly, through the increased spending power of communities with enhanced incomes produced by economic revival
In addition to this, SMEs serving a large geographical area or offering services not limited by geography may gain a more general benefit from increased custom from localities that are enjoying better economic performance than in previous years.
Good marketing is still needed
However, while any economic good news has potential benefits For SMEs, good digital marketing is still important. After all, where new opportunities arise there will be plenty of competition looking to grab a piece of the action. If they have better digital marketing than your firm, they could be enjoying the success that might have been yours.
For that reason, it’s important to consider how all the following could benefit you:
- PPC to gain leads
- Email marketing to follow up leads and keep your past and existing customers coming back
- Social media management to improve engagement and offer a new channel for customer service
- Website development to ensure you offer a strong online service with a great user experience
Using a combination of these that is appropriate to our business needs and aims, you can enjoy your own major boost to growth.
How BeUniqueness can help
At BeUniqueness, our services are designed especially with SMEs in mind. Whatever sector you are in, we can help you find a marketing solution that can help you bring in more customers and enjoy sustained growth.
Many could benefit from ‘levelling up’, but with great digital marketing, you can get ahead of the pack.